College Hockey Power Rankings: UMD Starts 2012 on Top

Joe WatsonCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2012

ST. PAUL, MN - APRIL 07:  Jack Connolly #12 of the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs is congratulated by teammate J.T. Brown #23 after Connolly scored in the second period against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Men's Frozen Four on April 7, 2011 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The defending national champions UMD Bulldogs are starting 2012 on a tear.  

The Bulldogs are on a 16 game unbeaten streak and are coming off of a sweep of Western Michigan.  During the 16 game streak, the Bulldogs are 13-0-3.

First Five Out: Denver, Michigan, Nebraska-Omaha, Lake Superior State and Quinnipiac

Series of the Week: Michigan @ (4) Ohio State, (6) Minnesota @ (15) North Dakota, (2) Notre Dame @ (12) Western Michigan, (1) Minnesota-Duluth @ Nebraska-Omaha

15. North Dakota (11-8-2)

UND is 7-1-1 in their last nine games and will face Minnesota this weekend in Grand Forks. Minnesota swept UND earlier this season.

14. Ferris State (13-8-1)

The Bulldogs rank fifth in team defense, allowing 2.09 goals per game.

13. Cornell (9-4-2)

The Big Red face Quinnipiac (12-7-5) and Princeton (5-10-4) this weekend.

12. Western Michigan (10-7-5)

The Mustangs have the pleasure of facing Notre Dame (13-6-3) this weekend.

11. Massachusetts-Lowell (12-5-0)

Massachusetts-Lowell ranks fourth in the nation in team offense, scoring 3.65 goals per game.

10. Colgate (12-6-2)

Forward Austin Smith is leading the nation in points with 33 and goals with 20.

9. Boston University (11-6-1)

The Terriers are quietly moving up the power rankings, going 8-2-1 in their last 11 games.

8. Colorado College (12-7-1)

The Schwartz brothers have combined for 47 points this season.

7. Merrimack (11-4-4)

Despite going 1-2-3 in their last six games, Merrimack ranks second in the nation in team defense at two goals per game.

6. Minnesota (15-7-1)

The Gophers started the year 5-0-0.  Since then, the Gophers are 10-7-1.  This includes losses against rivals Wisconsin and St. Cloud State.  The Gophers face UND this weekend in Grand Forks.

5. Union (10-5-6)

Netminder Troy Grosenick leads the nation in goals against average at 1.7371. Union leads the nation in team defense allowing just 1.95 goals per game.

4. Ohio State (14-4-3)

The Buckeyes will play Michigan (12-8-4) this weekend at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

3. Boston College (13-7-1)

The Eagles will play Northeastern (8-7-3) at Fenway Park this Saturday.

2. Notre Dame (13-6-3)

The Irish defeated Minnesota 4-3 in Minneapolis on Saturday.  ND will face Western Michigan (10-7-5) this weekend.

1. Minnesota-Duluth (14-3-3)

The Bulldogs are on track to repeat as national champions.  UMD has gone unbeaten in their last 16 games and will travel to Omaha to extend their streak against UNO (10-8-4) this weekend.